Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews

Stacy Garrop

Evanston, IL         

Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. Stacy shares stories by taking audiences on sonic journeys – some simple and beautiful, while others are complicated and dark – depending on the needs and dramatic shape of the story.

 Stacy is currently on a journey that is redefining her personal narrative. After teaching composition full-time at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University from 2000-2016, she stepped down from her position to become a freelance composer. As she makes this transition, she will be collaborating with a number of performers and organizations, including Anima Singers, Boston Choral Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Gaudete Brass Quintet, and the Carthage College Wind Ensemble. She will also be composing a new viola concerto for Michael Hall and both the Bandung Philharmonic (Indonesia) and Baroque on Beaver Music Festival, as well as writing a new work for tenor saxophone and piano for a consortium of fifteen saxophonists. Stacy is teaching studio lessons one day a week in the capacity of artist faculty at Roosevelt University for the 2016/17 academic year.

Orchestral Experience

Stacy was composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in 2010/11; her residence activities included the composing of a new work for performance, a performance of a pre-existing work, and the development of a yearlong educational program with an Albany-based middle school (this resulted in a 40 minute semi-staged production called The Quest of Henry Hudson). She has personally worked on performances of her music with the Amarillo Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, and Symphony New Hampshire. Additionally, her works have been performed by the Columbus Symphony, Minnesota Youth Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Women’s Philharmonic. 

In 2015, Cedille Records released an all-Garrop CD containing three of her orchestral works (Mythology Symphony, Thunderwalker, and Shadow), recorded by the Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony and Chamber Orchestras under the batons of Alondra de la Parra and Markand Thakar.


Stacy has received numerous awards and grants including a Fromm Music Foundation Grant, three Barlow Endowment commissions, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award, Boston Choral Ensemble Commission Competition, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s Harvey Gaul Composition Competition, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, Sorel Medallion Choral Composition Competition, and competitions sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and the New England Philharmonic. She has participated in reading session programs sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute), and Dale Warland Singers.

 Professional Experience

Theodore Presser Company publishes her chamber and orchestral works; she self-publishes her choral works under Inkjar Publishing Company. She is a recording artist with Cedille Records, with works on nine CDs; her works are also commercially available on Blue Griffin Recording, Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella Records, Equilibrium, Innova, Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Ravello Records, Saxophone Classics, and Summit Records. She has served as composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony, Skaneateles Festival, and the Volti Choral Institute for High School Singers. Stacy has attended residencies at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Oxford Summer Institute, Ragdale Colony, Round Top Music Festival, Ucross Foundation, Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yaddo. 

Commissions and Performances

Stacy has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra; by the ensembles Capitol Saxophone Quartet, Gaudete Brass Quintet, and Rembrandt Chamber Players; and by Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus, San Francisco Choral Society, South Bend Chamber Singers, and Volti. Several Chicago-based organizations have commissioned her as well, including Cedille Chicago, Music in the Loft, Norton Building Concert Series, and WFMT 98.7 FM. Additional performances have been given by the Avalon, Biava, Cecilia, Chiara, and Enso String Quartets; by the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Lincoln Trio, New EAR, Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and Voices of Change; and by Clerestory, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, South Bend Chamber Singers, and Voices of Ascension.


Stacy earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.).

For More Information

Please visit her website at www.garrop.com or her all-things-composition blog at www.composerinklings.com

Pandora Undone (orchestra, 2013)

“Pandora Undone” is the fifth and final movement of my Mythology Symphony. The music depicts a young, naïve Pandora who, while dancing around her house, spies a mysterious box. She tries to resist opening it, but her curiosity ultimately gets the best of her. When she cracks the lid open and looks inside, all evils escape into the world. Dismayed by what she has done, she looks inside the box once more. She discovers hope still in the box and releases it to temper the escaped evils and assuage mankind’s new burden.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Penelope Waits (orchestra, 2013)

“Penelope Waits” is the second movement of my Mythology Symphony. This quiet movement represents Queen Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, as she patiently waits twenty years for her husband’s return from fighting the Trojan Wars. Penelope herself is represented as an oboe. She is accompanied by a chamber orchestra (rather than the entire ensemble) as she keeps at bay the suitors who wish to marry her and inherit her riches.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Helios (brass quintet, 2011)

In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.